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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

xvn                   THE MONASTERY OF MANUEL                   255
Mavovtf'X).1 Paspates is consequently wrong In associating that pier with Kefel£ MesjedL2
Mordtmann3 accepts the identification of Ke£el6 Mesjedi with the monastery of Manuel as corrects but he identifies it also with the church and monastery which Gerlach found in this neighbourhood, and describes under the name of Aetius (TOO 'AeTtou).4 When visited by Gerlach in 15735 the church had been converted into a mosque, and was a beautiful building in excellent preservation. If all that remains of it is the bare structure of Kefel6 Mesjedi, the city has to mourn a great loss.5 (Plate LXXVIL)
Manuel, the founder of the monastery, was the uncle of
1  Mikloslch et M filler, pp. 28, 50, 53, 54.
2  P. 305.    On p. 163 he places the pier in its proper position.
3  Esq. top. p. 76 ;  Archaeological Supplement to vol. -xviii. of the Proceedings of the Greek Syllogos qfC.P, p. 9.
4  Tiirkisches Tagebuch, pp. 455-56 ; cf. Crusius, Turcograecia p. 190.
6 The question thus raised presents serious difficulties. That some building* in the neighbourhood pf Kefele Mesjedi was known by the name of Aetius t is undoubted. It was a cistern (Du Cange, i. p. 96), and formed one of the landmarks by which the church of S. John in Petra, situated in this quarter of the city, was distinguished (Du Cange, iv. p. 152 #yyccrra rov 'Aer/ov). But while that is the case, Gyllius (De top. C.P. iv.), who explored this part of the city in 1550, does not mention any Byzantine church that answers at all to Gerlach's description of the church of Aetius, unless it be the Chora. That Gyllius should have overlooked so beautiful a monument of Byzantine days as the church of Aetius, if different from the Chora, is certainly very strange. But it is not less strange to find that Gerlach does not speak of the Chora. Can the difficulty thus presented be removed by the supposition that Gerlach refers to the Chora under the name of Aetius ? The position he assigns to the church of Aetius in relation to the church of S. John in Petra and to the palace of Con-stantine (Tekfour Serai) favours that view, for he places the church of Aetius between S. John and the palace, exactly where the Chora would stand in that series of buildings. Looking towards the north-west from the windows of a house a little to the east of the Pammakaristos, Gerlach says * Ad Occasum, Boream versus, Prodrorni /JLOVT) est, olim wtrpa ; longius inde, Aetii pov^ ; postea, Palatium Constantim* (Turcograeda, p. 190). On the other hand, Gerlach*s description of the church of Aetius differs in so many particulars from what holds true of the Chora, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to believe that in that description he had the latter church in mind. Unless, then, we are prepared to admit grave mistakes in Gerlach's description, we must either assume an extraordinary failure on his part and on the part of Gyilius to notice a most interesting Byzantine monument, directly on the path or both explorers in this quarter of the city, or regret the disappearance of an ancient sanctuary that rivalled the Chora in splendour.
* It was probably the ruined cistern with twenty-four columns arranged in four rows of seven pillars each, near the mosque Kassira Aga, a short distance above KLefele" Mesjedi, Gerlach associates it with the church of Aetius.
f Tagebuchy pp. 455-56 ; cf. Crusius, TurcQgra&da^ p. 190. In the documents associated with the Synod of 536 in Constantinople the cistern of Aetius serves to identify the monastery of Mara (Mansi, viii. cols. 910, 930, 990). Cf. Banduri, in. p. 49 5 v. p. 106.